In 1882 Samuel Cunliffe-Lister bought the castle and, at the age of 68, embarked on an extensive building programme, adding a third floor and enlarging the dining room with the addition of the existing fireplace and gold leaf panels of rosettes on the ceiling.
Philip was later created Viscount Swinton in 1935 and the 1st Earl of Swinton in 1955. During the 2nd World War Harrogate Ladies College occupied part of the premises and, following their departure, Philip and Molly offered the major part of the castle to the Conservative College. The castle was sold in 1980 following Molly’s death in 1974.
From 1976 to 1998, the castle was occupied by the Lindley Educational Trust who ran it as a management training centre. Mark Cunliffe-Lister, the great-grandson of Molly, along with his mother, brother and sister, bought back the castle in May 2000. On 17 June 2000 Mark and Felicity (the current Baron and Baroness Masham) married and, on return from honeymoon, moved to Swinton, to set up the family business. The castle hotel was opened in 2001 following an extensive refurbishment.